Qua Humbug

"Turn from the glittering bribe thy scornful eye / Nor sell for gold what gold could never buy."

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that–pierced–died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

[John Updike, “Seven Stanzas at Easter”]

“To-day, we find Good Friday easy to accept: what scandalizes us is Easter: Modern man finds a happy ending, a final victory of Love over the Prince of this World, very hard to swallow.”

—   W. H. Auden (qtd. in Arthur Kirsch, Auden and Christianity)
Georges Rouault, Il Serait Si Doux D’Aimer [It would be so sweet to love]
Georges Rouault, Aimez-Vous Les Uns Les Autres [Love one another], from the Miserere series (Haggerty Museum)

mediumaevum:

This insanely gorgeous home has an amazing story behind it.

Fonthill was the home of the American archeologist and tile maker Henry Chapman Mercer, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Built between 1908 and 1912, it is an early example of poured-in-place concrete and features 44 rooms, over 200 windows, 18 fireplaces and 10 bathrooms. The interior was originally painted in pastel colors, but age and sunlight have all but eradicated any hint of the former hues. It contains much built-in furniture and is embellished with decorative tiles that Mercer made at the height of the Arts and Crafts movement. It is filled with an extensive collection of ceramics embedded in the concrete of the house, as well as other artifacts from his world travels, including cuneiform tablets discovered in Mesopotamia dating back to over 2300 BCE. The home also contains around 1,000 prints from Mercer’s extensive collection, as well as over six thousand books, almost all of which were annotated by Mercer himself.

More images (by Karl Graf)

(via preciseandtowering)

British Pathé Puts Over 85,000 Historical Films on YouTube - Open Culture

I am (or try to be) a partisan of pluralism, which requires respecting Mozilla’s right to have a C.E.O. whose politics fit the climate of Silicon Valley, and Brandeis’s right to rescind degrees as it sees fit, and Harvard’s freedom to be essentially a two-worldview community, with a campus shared uneasily by progressives and corporate neoliberals, and a small corner reserved for token reactionary cranks.

But this respect is difficult to maintain when these institutions will not admit that this is what is going on. Instead, we have the pretense of universality — the insistence that the post-Eich Mozilla is open to all ideas, the invocations of the “spirit of free expression” from a school that’s kicking a controversial speaker off the stage.

And with the pretense, increasingly, comes a dismissive attitude toward those institutions — mostly religious — that do acknowledge their own dogmas and commitments, and ask for the freedom to embody them and live them out.

It would be a far, far better thing if Harvard and Brandeis and Mozilla would simply say, explicitly, that they are as ideologically progressive as Notre Dame is Catholic or B. Y.U. is Mormon or Chick-fil-A is evangelical, and that they intend to run their institution according to those lights.

I can live with the progressivism. It’s the lying that gets toxic.

—   Ross Douthat. NO. KIDDING. I have never in my life co-signed anything more fervently than I co-sign this. (via ayjay)

(via ayjay)

Belts, Belts, Belts, Belts, Belts, Belts, Belts!

A poem (after heavy revision) by me (early to mid-revision, really). 

Sorry Onion, Martin Luther already addressed this.
Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie | Prison Policy Initiative